Will the time it takes to charge batteries get faster in the future?

Will the time it takes to charge batteries get faster in the future?

In this link here JB Straubel says that eventually they could charge your battery in five to ten minutes

I was thinking about this and i have come to the conclusion that for EVs to truly replace ICE cars, charge times need to get to the point where you can put in at least 200 miles in 5 minutes, why? I live in Portland OR and i have family in Idaho Falls ID, if you take minimal and very fast breaks one can drive from point A to B in about 12 hours (though usually takes 14) BUT not if one has to stop for 30 mintutes to charge the battery. So a trip that I can wake up early and get done in a day (which saves me money as I dont have to spend money on a hotel room) goes right out the window.

So I am just hoping to open up a discussion on future chargin tech and what might happen by the year 2025. I am heavily into futurism as I have read the Singularity is Near so thinking about future tech is always on my mind. Do you think that by the middle of the next decade we'll be able to charge our batteries half-way full in 5 minutes?

There must be someone here whose been annoyed at having to wait so long to charge up whereas in an ICE car it takes no longer than a few minutes and yur off again, I really do hope they can improve the charge rate in the future, and honestly I bet they will.

Earl and Nagin ... | 06. huhtikuu 2016

People used to say that the automobile could really only replace the horse when it would run off of grass and weeds because, as you know, a horse can just graze off of these things existing anywhere.
While I agree that charging speed is likely to improve. The 5 minute 300 miles charge is likely a long way away. If fast charging is really that important, I believe battery swap will suffice. To date, battery swap hasn't shown itself to be as worthwhile as fast charging, probably because of how cheap fast charging is. The super-quick daily charge time (a few seconds to plug in) probably greatly overcomes the value of shortening charging time.
Tesla, of course is keeping all options open and studying their effectiveness.

dchuck | 06. huhtikuu 2016

I doubt it will get down to 5 minutes anytime soon, even with a 350kw DC connection (the proposed CCS DC maximum) you're looking at getting a 50% charge on a 90kw battery pack in about 8 minutes. So even with solutions still on the drawing board we are only 1/4 of the way there.

In your example the real problem is the total capacity of the battery and not the speed of charging. If you had a 120kw or 150kw battery pack you could make it to Ontario, OR, stop for an hour long lunch and then make it the rest of the way.

I personally have to stop every couple of hours to stretch and go to the bathroom anyway so the extra time spent charging isn't as big a deal for me.

Brian H | 07. huhtikuu 2016

Tesla mileage charged at home, ~80% (WAG). ICE miles fueled at home, 0.0001% (WAG).

Not a major issue in reality.

milesbb | 10. huhtikuu 2016

@Brian H
ICE miles fueled at home, 0.0001% (WAG).

I have known a few folks that had a home tank and gasoline delivered. Popular after the gas shortage of the 70's. Not sure you can have this done any more. The other home fueled is the Honda Civic GX that runs on natural gas. I think they had problems with the home compressor. Honda now recommends not refueling at home.

syd | 10. huhtikuu 2016

Fast charging leads more to the concept of a super-capacitor than a battery. Li-Ion technology can't charge that quickly without damaging the cell. New technologies on the non near term horizon blur the boundary between super capacitor and battery. I am unsure how quickly those technologies can get taken from the research lab to practical production, but my personal bet is on late in the next decade, not nearer the middle. But "my crystal ball is cloudy" and I'm still waiting for practical fusion power plants we were promised more than 50 years ago.

Dramsey | 10. huhtikuu 2016

And, of course, there's the problem of how to deliver that much power to the car. To halve the time it takes to charge a battery, you must first have a battery that can accept the charge that fast.

But the hard part is getting the power to the battery. Notice how thick and heavy the Supercharger cables are (well, except the liquid-cooled cables in Mountain View at the Computer History Museum). To double the amount of power you must either double the amperage (which means doubling the cross-sectional area of the cable) or double the voltage (which means the insulation has to get really good), or some combination of the two.

Nic727 | 10. huhtikuu 2016

I'm sure they will develop new technology to make energy transfering faster and be able to recharge your car in 5-15 minutes.

Red Sage ca us | 10. huhtikuu 2016

Direct comparison to ICE fueling strategies is a moot point. Higher capacity battery packs will allow you to both charge faster and charge less often. Time exists so that everything doesn't happen at once.

Bob.Calvo | 11. huhtikuu 2016

Here we go again....

jordanrichard | 11. huhtikuu 2016

Brian H +!. Last month I drove from CT to Raleigh NC. Sitting in the car while it was charging, cumulatively added only 1 hr and 10 mins to my trip. This was a 635 mile drive. I don't see an issue here either. I would much rather Tesla concentrate on expanding the network than trying to push more power through it.

Earl and Nagin ... | 11. huhtikuu 2016

@jordanrichard +1,
I'm sure Supercharging time will increase over time but I'm happy with the current rate so increases can evolve naturally.

Dramsey | 12. huhtikuu 2016

I'm sure they will develop new technology to make energy transfering faster and be able to recharge your car in 5-15 minutes.

Really? Why are you so sure? I was sure we'd have commercial fusion reactors by now-- I didn't let my complete ignorance of power plant and nuclear engineering stop me. But I should have.

Look over the history of battery technology for the last few decades. Lithium-ion batteries were first commercially produced in 1991-- a quarter-century again. Improvements since then have been incremental, despite the dozens of "magic batteries" that have been announced (and vanished without a trace) since then.

Myself, I suspect the research is being suppressed by the evil battery cabal, mainly Panasonic.

bbeakes | 12. huhtikuu 2016

What I hear is hey lets have bigger range from batteries that is the issue. But logically if the range stayed at 200 lets say but you could charge in about the same time as gas it would be less of an issue. Really what it is about is meeting somewhere in the middle, being able to charge faster and have a longer range. I agree with the original topic, just bang out the miles and not hang around charging your car. I think my impression is that planning is key to EV being a more usable tech. You try to hit the supercharger around lunch lets say on this road trip. Or like most people you have a second car, you use that for really long trips. Lets face it, these vehicles are not perfect for all needs. The technology will get there, I suspect times will drop further and batteries will progress further. Just like ICE these cars have come a long way, think about terrible mileage, slow, breakdown, bad fumes, etc. We will see advancements as we proceed in the future, but it is not like we will see 30 minutes and suddenly 5. I think 10-15 minutes could be the perfect compromise.

Rocky_H | 13. huhtikuu 2016

Ah, another essay based on the mythical 5 minute gas station fill up. What I also hear in these opinions sounds like this:

Motorcycles are so bad for towing a boat. They really need to improve them so they can tow a boat. They will probably need to go to four wheels to have stability enough for it, and they will need a stronger frame and stronger suspension to support that tongue weight. And the motorcycle engine isn’t powerful enough to really pull that kind of weight, so they’ll probably need to have a lot bigger engine to do that. Motorcycles won’t be successful until they make those changes to enable towing.

Here’s the thing: motorcycles aren’t meant for towing. Two-seat roadsters aren’t meant for carrying 7 passengers. Low ground clearance sports cars aren’t meant for off-roading.

If you need to power through a 12 hour trip with only 5 minute stops, then you need to rent a gas car for that trip.

carlgo | 14. huhtikuu 2016

It might be that Superchargers will remain free, but people will have the alternative of paying a modest sum for much faster charging at attended depots with food and toilets.

The power and equipment needed to transfer that much electricity to a future 10-minute battery will preclude home chargers or do-it-yourself Superchargers. Charging depots will be almost as numerous as gas stations are today and will in many cases be converted stations.

This would make EVs the clear and obvious choice. Anything less than that will keep ICE stuff around forever.

Larry@SoCal | 15. huhtikuu 2016

The "attended depots with food and toilets" concept is attractive. As it is, the nearest coffee or dinner is bearing the burden of Tesla owner's pit stops. I foresee "Restroom Not For Tesla Use" signs.

brando | 15. huhtikuu 2016

Charging at work.
Isn't this the best way to encourage more electric car use?
Cover parking lots with overhead solar panels to provide shade for the cars.
And this would help those without garages at home.
Every work place can work the employee benefit angle, the Public Relations angle (which might include free advertising in local press perhaps?).

Destination Chargers - not Electricity gas stations.

Boy, old habits seem harder to break than I imagined.

DonS | 15. huhtikuu 2016

At the end of the day, decisions are determined by economics and government policy. If it were only a technology issue, fast inductive charging combined with periodic charging sections embedded in highways could electrify the entire interstate highway system.

vperl | 15. huhtikuu 2016

I have mentioned several times..

Some company has to realise... Get Tesla to put in 25 stations on their property with all the services one could wish.

Food, restrooms, hotel, grocery store, a shopping center to lounge around.

Call these Electro - Stations

Put in just like truck stops......

RedShift | 15. huhtikuu 2016


I'm curious to know why you think Panasonic is suppressing research?

carlgo2 | 17. huhtikuu 2016

Brando: it isn't that people have bad habits at all. Do you see gas pumps at businesses, in hotel parking lots, in front of donut shops, at stadiums or schools, casinos...?

Why not?

Receipts.offers | 18. huhtikuu 2016

Charge renewal is just one of the many hurdles yet to be overcome. Tesla has done a good job at giving Combustion performance a run for it's money. Will 5 minute recharging in the next 10 years? No, I don't think so. I read on that since the adoption of the smartphone, LI-ion battery performance has improved about 7% per year. All things being equal, 10 years isn't enough to reach 100% in five minute. You have to allow for the delay in retrofitting those improvements to vehicle batteries.

If the S is your only vehicle and you really want to boast on low down time, I would look into the battery replacement system being develop that replaces the battery in your car for a new one, fresh pack in 1 1/2 minutes. But even that is a ways away.


Earl and Nagin ... | 18. huhtikuu 2016

@Pedro Q.
Battery Swap isn't very far away from most Tesla owners. It resides at Harris Ranch in Coalinga, CA, about 1 Model S charge away from about 50% of the world's Tesla owners.
It costs $40 per swap but most still elect for the free Supercharger at the same location.

Brian H | 18. huhtikuu 2016

its money

brando | 18. huhtikuu 2016

carlgo2 - "Do you see gas pumps at businesses, in hotel parking lots, in front of donut shops, at stadiums or schools, casinos...?"

1 - Gasoline is flammable - dangerous and it smells bad (not very appetizing)

2 - People only spend 10 seconds charging their Electric Vehicles - the time to plug-in and later to un-plug.

Perhaps someone can correct or expand on the below approximate numbers for charge times.

Standard wall outlet 120V 15 amp. About 4 miles per hour
120V 30A = 8 mi/hr
240V 15A = 8 mi/hr
240V 30A = 16 mi/hr

3 - Shade is good. Protects car. Keeps car cooler.
Solar panel create electricity and shade. Asphalt just collects heat and warms up the place.

I hope this better explains what I was trying to say

Cebe | 21. huhtikuu 2016

@carlgo - exactly. Say Tesla comes up with the "twice as fast supercharging", and it's a $2000 option. How many people would take it? The "I want it faster without anything in return" is too easy to demand. There may be a high number of people that would pay for this, but only if it's their first Tesla. I find the superchargers adequate for the kind of road trips I do.

As far as faster charging goes, the naive me thinks that we could do it today, if the battery was set up as "two halves", and we had a plug in each of the rear lights, not just the left one. Plug in two supercharger cables at once, get it going twice as fast. Ignoring the "half the battery has half the capacity and would thus be charging slower when it gets to full" part.

Receipts.offers | 21. huhtikuu 2016

Thank you for the correction Earl.

Cebe, You might be right. I am not an electrical engineer and I don't know if that is possible. However, I do know that it would be more difficult technically to develop which would add costs to production and development. Also, it is less expensive to produce 1000 90kwh batteries than it is to produce 2000 45kwh batteries. If your suggestions is possible, and again, I don't know if it is or isn't, at this point in development, it increases production cost, something Tesla is trying its best to reduce for this First Gen Fleet and speciall the Model 3. That being said, if it is possible, I could see that be an option on future model S's until the tech becomes cheap enough.

MyXinTx | 22. huhtikuu 2016

One thing is for sure, none of the current Tesla vehicles is likely to be a recipient of this rapid charging process. That will be in the Model S, X, or 3...version 5

risingsun | 22. huhtikuu 2016

You just need a bigger battery to decrease the charge time, if batteries charge at the same proportion of battery size regardless of the size of the battery a bigger battery with charge more electricity per unit of time.

risingsun | 22. huhtikuu 2016

You just need a bigger battery to decrease the charge time, if batteries charge at the same proportion of battery size regardless of the size of the battery a bigger battery with charge more electricity per unit of time.

MountainVoyageur | 24. huhtikuu 2016

@cebe -- you are assuming the current charging is not being done in parallel -- I doubt you are correct.

danielpf | 24. huhtikuu 2016

rigingsun: If the battery is twice as large and can charge at the double rate, the total charging time is the same.
What improves is that you can travel approximately twice as long before next charging. Carrying a heavier battery impacts range though.

Bubba2000 | 24. huhtikuu 2016

Tesla may be offering a 100 KWh battery soon. That would extend the Model S actual range to 300+ miles. It should charge faster with existing SCs. That will be more than enough for most people. 97% of trips don't need SC. The P100 will reduce that even further, while the number of charger locations may 2x by next year.